What to do when callers can't leave you voice mail messages

If people aren't able to leave you voice mail messages, the problem might be something simple. Have you set up your voice mailbox? Have you checked your messages? Could your mailbox be full?

Finish setting up your mailbox

Before anyone can leave you a message, you must set up your mailbox.

Here's how to set up your mailbox from home:

  1. Dial 98 from your home phone.
  2. Follow the prompts to create a password (any number 4-15 digits long).
  3. Record a name to identify your mailbox.
  4. Choose or record a greeting.

You can find instructions on this — as well as a few time-saving shortcuts — in our online voice mail user guide.

Confirm your mailbox isn't full

If your mailbox is full, you'll need to delete some messages before people can leave you new ones. 

To delete old messages and make room for new ones:

  1. Dial 98 from your home phone.
  2. Press to get to the Main Menu.
  3. Press 1 to listen to messages
  4. Press 7 at the end of a message to delete it.

You can find instructions on this -- as well as a few time-saving shortcuts -- in our online voice mail user guide.

Check your message indicator

Occasionally, you might have messages even if you don't hear the interrupted/stutter dial tone or see the message indicator light.  Listen to your messages to see if the messages you are expecting are actually there or not.

You may also want to check that your mailbox "Notification Options" for the "Message Waiting Indicator" is turned ON.

  1. Dial 98 from your home phone.
  2. Press to get to the Main Menu.
  3. Press 4 for Mailbox Options.
  4. Press 1 for Notification Options.
  5. Press 1 to set Message Waiting Indicator to ON.

Other voice mail problems

Does the voice mail message sound chopped off?

A single voice mail message has a maximum length.  When you listen to your messages, if someone has left you a particularly long one, it may sound like it ended abruptly or that their message was cut off.  Rest assured, the caller was told the maximum length had been reached and then was given the option to either re-record or leave the message as is. If they leave it as is, then to you it might sound cut-off.  Try listening to the next message, maybe they called back and with some follow up comments.

Is there a built-in answering machine on a phone connected to the same line?

A phone answering machine could be interfering with your CenturyLink voice mail.  Make sure the answering machine functionality is off.  Oddly enough, a power surge can turn on a previously turned off answering machine.

Is there too much "dead air" at the end of your voice mail greeting?

Because of the excessive pause after your greeting, people might not know to keep waiting for the beep so they just hang up in frustration.

To check if this might be happening, call your home number and listen to your voice mail greeting. Is there excessive dead air/a long pause at the end of the greeting?  If there is, try recording a new greeting, taking special care to press # immediately after finishing saying your greeting.  

To change your greeting:

  1. Dial 98 from your home phone.
  2. Press 3 for Greetings - follow the prompts to re-record your greeting.

Still haven't figured it out?

Download the voice mail user guide for your specific system.

If these suggestions don't solve the problem, call 1-800-669-7676 for further help. For detailed, printed instructions on using your voice mail service, download the CenturyLink Voice Mail guide:

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